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By | Paul Kunert 11th November 2013 16:05

Burnt-out Comet's VC backers are looking for more cash

Probe into Blighty retailer's £257m crash ongoing, but that won't stop OpCapita

The private equity firm involved in Comet's costly crash is back in the market and trying to convince financiers to part with hundreds of millions for a new investment fund.

Henry Jackson, boss of OpCapita, the venture capitalist which paid £2 for the British retailer in November 2011 before sending it down in flames a year later, is leading the talks.

Jackson is interested in raising a longer-term fund as opposed to raising cash on a deal-by-deal basis, which was the previous method, according to a report on Sky News.

It is not clear at this stage the amount of cash OpCapita is chasing nor the sorts of targets it has in mind. The VC has an existing stake in Game Group, and once owned furniture retailer MFI.

Jackson and OpCapita caused some uproar twelve months ago when Comet called in the administrators, having run out of cash and credit among suppliers.

Subsequently, the 6,900-strong workforce were laid off as 236 stores were shuttered, and creditors left out of pocket to the tune of £257m, including £49.4m owed to HMRC in lost VAT and payroll taxes.

The Insolvency Service launched an investigation into Comet's collapse but biz secretary Vince Cable is unlikely to make that probe public.

A couple of months ago south coast entrepreneur Clive Coombes tried to revive the Comet brand, but according to reports he backtracked, possibly due to a trademark infringement concerns. ®

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